Be aware what a wedding may mean for your Will

News Article

August has long been one of the most popular months in which to get married, even if the British weather can’t always be relied on to bring the sunshine come the big day!

At Palmers we have celebrated one of our team tying the knot this summer, while other colleagues have been attending the weddings of family and friends in recent weeks.

There are of course many things that those who are about to exchange their vows have to consider and while reviewing a Will won’t necessarily be at the top of the list it is something which certainly needs to be given consideration.

Under the Wills Act 1837, marriage is deemed to revoke a Will. This means that even if someone has set their affairs in order previously, if they do not update the document following the wedding then they will be classed as having died intestate. Although the original legislation dates from the start of the Victorian era, it will also apply for those entering into a civil partnership.

The only exception is if a Will has specifically had a “contemplation of marriage” clause incorporated into its wording. This must, however, meet a number of specific requirements, including ensuring that the document names the person that the testator is planning to marry.

Lee McClellan, Partner in Palmers’ Private Client team, said: “It is important that couples are aware that marriage will revoke any previous Will and the laws of intestacy will apply should they not update the document.

“This is obviously something which can create many complications so it is important not to ignore it or to put off updating a Will.

“Similarly, the lack of provision for unmarried couples under the intestacy rules means that cohabiting partners should ensure they make a Will at the earliest opportunity, whether they are planning to marry or not.”

For more information on making or updating a Will, please contact us.